The woman used by feminist lawyers who argued in favor of the legalization of abortion on demand in the United States in 1973, is making a visit to Montevideo this week to warn of the harm that abortion will bring to millions of women if legalized in Uruguay.
While the Senate prepares to vote on legislation that would make Uruguay the first country in Latin America to allow abortion, Norma McCorvey, the "Jane Roe" of Roe v. Wade, arrived in the capital to share her powerful testimony.
Early in 1970, Norma McCorvey claimed she had been raped by a gang and left pregnant. Sarah Weddington and Linda Coffee, recent law-school graduates of the University of Texas, saw the case as an opportunity to attack the Texas law against abortion. They convinced McCorvey to undergo an abortion rather than give her baby up for adoption, as she had previously decided.
The case was appealed all the way to the Supreme Court, which legalized abortion in all 50 states in 1973. As the case ran its course, McCorvey's baby was born and given up for adoption.
In 1987 McCorvey admitted that she had not been raped and the baby's father was someone she had known and thought she had loved. She confessed that the story of the gang rape was a lie. Since then she has worked for the cause of life and is now working to have the ruling declared null and void.
McCorvey was invited by four Uruguayan pro-life organizations. Today at noon she is scheduled to visit the Senate Health Committee and in the evening she will give a presentation to civil leaders.
McCorvey's lawyer, Richard Clayton Trotter, told reporters she has requested the U.S. Supreme Court reverse the decision it made 30 years ago.
"Five judges of the Supreme Court are in favor of the maintaining the ruling and four are against. But one of the five in favor has written about the health problems caused by abortion and some lawyers are hopeful this judge could change his position," Clayton said.
"Abortion has become the most common surgical procedure in the U.S.," said Clayton. "Between 40 and 50 million babies have died because of it. In other words, a third of a generation has been lost," he said.
Claytons believes the proposed law being debated in the Uruguayan congress could spark a situation similar to that of the U.S. and for this reason he suggests "the dangerous effects abortion has on women and children be investigated" before any decision is taken.
Last year Uruguay's House of Representatives approved abortion during the first trimester and the Senate Health Committee is currently analyzing the effects of that decision. The three most important political leaders of the country, including President Jorge Batlle, have announced their opposition to the law.